CoStar buys for $585M

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From left: Andrew Florance and the homepage for
From left: Andrew Florance and the homepage for

A subscription-driven data cruncher for the commercial real estate industry has swallowed up an online apartment search company for $585 million.

Maryland-based CoStar Group purchased, as well as and, from Chicago-based Classified Ventures Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

The sellers are a group of newspaper companies, including Graham Holdings, the former parent of the Washington Post, which expects to receive $95 million for its 16.5 percent stake in the company and Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, which expects to rake in $155 million for its 26.9 percent interest. Other owners include Tribune and McClatchy.

Together the three websites generated more than 100 million visits last year and made about $86 million in revenue, according to the Post.

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CoStar also recently purchased a smaller data firm called Loopnet for $860 million, which doubled the firm’s client base, as The Real Deal reported at the time.

“In much the same way LoopNet revolutionized how owners and brokers market the commercial real estate sectors of office, industrial and retail, Apartments has transformed the way owners and property managers market their commercial real estate’s apartment buildings, moving them from the classified ads section of Classified Ventures owners’ newspapers to more effective online advertising,” said CoStar’s founder Andrew Florance in a statement.

The deal is slated to close in the second quarter. [Washington Post]Angela Hunt